“Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make it feel real. I’m very happy with how the last few weeks have gone. Hopefully I can keep pushing on to get more games.
“From the first minute I stepped into the camp, everyone made me feel very welcome. Obviously there are going to be nerves when I first came. I never really knew anyone.
“These were players who were playing for big clubs in the Premier League. I just got my head down, worked hard. Throughout time, I have got more confident.”
You suspect that is not such a problem for a player who never got the call for England representative sides at a younger level and even three years ago was just an ordinary player in the Championship.
“It was just one of them things – it was in the summer, it was warm, you just love watching international football.
“To be here playing and to have my friends and family messaging me saying ‘I can’t believe you’re playing for England and doing all this stuff’ it’s surreal.
“Like I said before, I feel like I have to pinch myself sometimes. But it’s one of those things you’ve got to keep working hard and I’ll keep doing that.”
Marcelo Bielsa, Phillips’ Leeds manager, is the one credited with the turnaround, having turned him into a more defensive-minded midfielder.
“I want to be playing games and Gareth’s seen that and has seen that I’m capable of playing in different positions in midfield, which is a good thing as well. I’m looking forward to the next camp.”
That next camp, of course, is the one building up to the Euro 2020 finals. What if the next telephone call from Southgate is not the one Phillips wants?
He adds: “I don’t really think that way. I am not negative. What will be, will happen.
“If I don’t get a call-up, I will just keep working hard and hopefully get called up for the next one. And if I do get called up? Buzzing!”